Most likely, according to psychology professor, Jeffrey Jenson Arnett, your teenager or young adult is entering "emerging adulthood" - a time where many different directions remain possible.
One such direction can come from Stragglers. Stragglers struggle to find viable jobs after high school. They can stay at home and get a job (and not a very good one) or join the military. According to the National Student Clearinghouse, 12.5 million 20-something adults have some college credits but no degree. But they are better off financially than high school grads who never attempted college at all. They want the skill, not the paper.
Josh Marby is a straggler. He was about to turn 30 and has experienced a decade of dead-end jobs and false starts at a handful of colleges. But he was able to arrive at his passion. Woodworking was his calling. He did not need a paper to tell him that he's good at what he does. His father and grandfather were woodworkers. But he took his last woodshop class in seventh grade but his school was trying to push college onto his plate.
Unfortunately, American families continue to push education to their children with a one-size-fits-all approach. NYT goes on to report that it's impossible in today's culture to think differently as a parent about when a college education should happen. Ultimately, for stragglers, finding a pathway to a fulfilling career and a meaningful life has become much more difficult than it ever should be.
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